COLUMBUS, Ohio — A product of Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman, Tate Martell spent his storied high school career at one of the top programs in the nation. But not even the prep powerhouse could prepare him for the rigors of his first spring practice at Ohio State. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the 4-star prospect had to hear about his rough start from his new teammate, J.T. Barrett.
“I wish you could ask him how his first two days went,” Barrett told reporters following the Buckeyes’ second spring practice session on Thursday. “It’s not Bishop Gorman, that’s for sure.”
Immediately, a reporter suggested to Barrett that Ohio State sports information director Jerry Emig should make Martell available to discuss. The Buckeyes’ fifth-year senior, however, took the opportunity to defend his teammate — as only he can.
“No, I ain’t gonna do him like that,” Barrett said. “He’d probably cry or something.”
Barrett’s ribbing may have been good-natured, but it wasn’t dishonest either. As a similarly undersized quarterback who also enrolled early, he may have even seen a little bit of himself as he watched the 5-foot-11, 205-pound Martell deal with FBS defensive linemen for the first time in his life throughout the week.
“There’s certain things that we talk about,” said Barrett, a fifth-year senior. “Something little is that he’s shorter than I am, and there are certain plays where you have to get tall to make the throw. And I was like, ‘You didn’t have a Jalyn Holmes or a Sam Hubbard running at you, 6-5, 270.’ I was like, ‘Man, they’re going to blast you if you don’t get out of there.'”
Through just two practices, however, Barrett is already seeing signs of improvement in his new understudy. It also doesn’t hurt that Martell, the second-ranked dual-threat signal-caller in the 2017 class, has one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in Buckeyes history giving him advice.
“You come in from high school and you were the big fish in the small pond,” Barrett said. “And now you’re the guppy in the big pond. With that, though, he’s adjusting to it. I think he’s going to be alright.”